Before we head into the weekend – and Game 1 of the Finals – I figured I would offer one last thing from my interview with Don Waddell this month. By now, you’ve seen the story on the Ilya Kovalchuk negotiations, the final three candidates for the upcoming draft pick and the story on Waddell and his immediate future.
Waddell did offer an interesting take on Kovy as captain and his marked improved play once he was named.
He said: “Kovy took a lot of pride and passion in it. Not that he wasn’t playing that way before. He really took the team atmosphere on his back. But I think it was more important to the other 19 guys. They all knew that we go as Kovy goes. They know that. Here now that had a guy that just by putting that C on his jersey … all these guys can look up and he’s their leader. Everybody has responded to that. A couple years ago if we would have done that, people may not have responded because we had an older team. It being such a young team, the guys look up to him.